General information
Title CZDuo pro housle a violoncello č. 1
Title ENDuo for Violin and Violoncello No. 1
Title DEDuett für Violine und Cello Nr. 1
Title FRDuo pour violon et violoncelle n° 1
CategoryChamber Music
SubcategoryDuos for Other Instruments
Halbreich number157
Parts of the composition (movements)1. Preludium (Andante moderato); 2. Rondo (Allegro con brio)
Durata11' 30''
InstrumentsVl Vc
Dedicatee Frank, Maurits
Novák, Stanislav
Diplomatic transcription of the dedicationÁ Stanislav Novák et Maurits Frank.
Place of compositionParis
Year of origin1927
Initiation of composition1927
Completion of composition26.01.1927
First performance
Performer Stanislav Novák (Vl); Maurits Frank (Vc)
Frank, Maurits
Novák, Stanislav
Date of the first performance1927-03-17
Location of the first performanceParis
Autograph deposition
InstitutionNational Library of the Czech Republic
Deposition locationPrague
OwnerNational Library of the Czech Republic, Prague
Note on the autograph depostitionCall No. at the National Library in Prague: 59 R 1956. *** Copyist's score with inscriptions by B. Martinů located at the Bohuslav Martinů Centre in Polička.
CopyrightMax Eschig, Paris
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Éditions Max Eschig, Paris, 1928
Call number at the BM Institute: 1032a
Details of this edition
References Related writings
Documents in the Library
Note Title on the title page of the autograph: "Duo | pour violon et violoncello." *** Dedication in Martinů's hand inscribed on the title page of the score in copyist's hand (deposited at the Bohuslav Martinů Centre in Polička).
About the composition

The Duo for Violin and Cello No. 1 was written in January 1927, only three years and several months after Bohuslav Martinů had left Prague for Paris, to study there with Albert Roussel. Even though by then the catalogue of his works comprised no fewer than 150 compositions, it was not until that particular stage in his career that Martinů found his own path to an authentic modern compositional idiom. The Duo for Violin and Cello No. 1 was commissioned by two of the composer's friends from Prague, violinist Stanislav Novak and cellist Maurits Frank, protagonists of the Novak-Frank Quartet. Characteristic features of this two-part opus include in its opening movement, denoted Praeludium , the composer's resort to free tonality and polyphonic leading of parts, which results in abundant dissonances. In the second movement, a Rondo, this is compounded by the employment of rhythms, melodic turns, and harmonies typical for the 1920s jazz music. The virtuosity of both cadences here bears obvious signs of inspiration by Ravel's Tzigane.

Aleš Březina, Czech String Duo, © 2002 Music Vars 

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